Friday, 16 October 2009
17th October – 6th December 2009
The changing face of the North Yorkshire landscape throughout the year is the inspiration behind a master blacksmith’s new installation ‘He Vivido’ (I have lived)
David Stephenson has been producing exquisite metalwork from his forge in Lockton, North Yorkshire since 1999 and has earned a reputation as a master blacksmith and craftsman.
The show marks a new departure from his signature ironwork, and features twelve large copper repousse panels which capture his reflections on particular aspects of the landscape, with the twelve copper reliefs suggesting a calendar or cycle of nature.
Stephenson embarked on developing this new technique after he discovered a carved relief panel by the artist Eric Gill on the font at St Joseph’s Church in Pickering, he says, “The beautiful, gentle subtlety of Gill’s relief work opened to me the possibilities of repousse relief work in copper.” The process involves the drawing of a design onto the sheet of copper using small chisels made for the purpose.
The subject of Stephenson’s series of 12 repousse copper panels came about while sheltering from avalanche danger in a tiny mountain refuge, high in the Spanish Pyrenees. Scribed on the stone wall with a charcoal stick were the words:
Solo es feliz aquel que, Cada dia puede decir, ‘He vivido’
Only happy is he who, Each day can say, 'I have lived'.
Stephenson comments: “The subject of each panel represents what it is which, in some way, has allowed me to say: ‘Hoy, he vivido’ / (today, I have lived)”‘He Vivido’ is the final show in the Fired Arts season in the Gallery at Ryedale Folk Museum. The programme, developed by gallery manager Andy Dalton, runs from May through to December this year and has featured some of the best kiln and forge based artists working in North Yorkshire, including Gillies Jones Glass and Peter Humpherson. Over 20,000 visitors have enjoyed a range of works in glass, ceramic and metal celebrating the quality and strength of work by craftsmen from the region.